“Why do you assume that an existence that does not succeed in taking root or bearing fruit in the form of a tangible work is less valuable than another? Why might not the world, which has need for stable families and settled people, need also these mobiles and wandering creatures whose action takes the form of series of seemingly unrelated trials or tests cutting across all kinds of areas?…We must, to a certain extent, look for a stable port, but if Life keeps tearing us away, not letting us settle anywhere, this in itself may be a call and a benediction.”
–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“The thinker, he who is serene and self-possessed, is the brave, not the desperate soldier. He who can deal with his thoughts as a material, building them into poems in which future generations will delight, he is the man of the greatest and rarest vigor, not sturdy diggers and not lusty polygamists. He is the man of energy in whom subtle and poetic thoughts are bred. Common men can enjoy partially; they can go a-fishing rainy days; they can read poems perchance, but they have not the vigor to beget poems. They can enjoy feebly, but they cannot create. Men talk of freedom! How many are free to think? free from fear, from preturbation, from prejudice? Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand are perfect slaves. How many can exercise the highest human faculties? He is the man truly–courageous, wise, ingenious–who can use his thoughts and ecstasies as the material of fair and durable creations. One man shall derive from the fisherman’s story more than the fisher has got who tells it. The mass of men do you know how to cultivate the fields they traverse. The mass glean only a scanty pittance where the thinker reaps an abundant harvest. What is all your building, if you do not build with thoughts? No exercise implies more real manhood and vigor than joining thought to thought. How few men can tell what they have thought! I hardly know half a dozen who are not too lazy for this. They cannot get over some difficulty, and therefore they are on the long way round. You conquer fate by thought. If you think the fatal thought of men and institutions, you need never pull the trigger. The consequences of thinking inevitably follow. There is no more Herculean task than to think a thought about this life and then get it expressed.
–Henry D. Thoreau, I to Myself, Entry May 6, 1858
“One of the basic problems in close relationships is the tendency to expect the other person to be and act the person you want them to be. It takes considerable maturity to allow the other to live his or her own life. You may have certain needs that you hope your friend or lover or family member will fulfill. You may live by certain rules and habits that you hope everyone will adopt. You may have a worldview that works for you, and you can’t understand why someone closer to you doesn’t share it. This clinging to self-interests has to change. You may have to learn to appreciate and ultimately enjoy the other person’s ways and especially the mysteries that lead them on.
Allowing the other his or her own life and destiny is a spiritual achievement, a religious act, if you will, that raises the relationship above the level of mere human connection.”
–Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own, quote encountered on the Perpetual Journal dated 8.25.14 of Rosemary Washington Chapter Two
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment.”
“In the hollows of quiet places we may meet, the quiet places where is neither moon nor sun, but only the light as of amber and pale gold that comes from the Hills of the Heart. There, listen at times: there you will call, and I hear: there will I whisper, and that whisper will come to you as dew is gathered into the grass, at the rising of the moon.”
–Fiona Macleod, The silence of Amor; Where the forest murmurs p. 6
“How many times in our lives have we had that unfortunate moment when we realize that no amount of prayer, wishful thinking, incantations to the gods or promises of remorse is going to reverse the irreversible.”
–Curmudgeon at Large
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
–Howard Thurman, The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time
“Try not to pay attention to those who will try to make life miserable for you. There will be a lot of those – in the official capacity as well as the self-appointed. Suffer them if you can’t escape them, but once you have steered clear of them, give them the shortest shrift possible. Above all, try to avoid telling stories about the unjust treatment you received at their hands; avoid it no matter how receptive your audience may be. Tales of this sort extend the existence of your antagonists; most likely they are counting on your being talkative and relating your experience to others. Therefore, steal, or still, the echo, so that you don’t allow an event, however unpleasant or momentous, to claim any more time than it took for it to occur.”